Live Review

the pains of being pure at heart – cambridge 12/6/09

the pains of using a poor quality camera phone
the pains of using a poor quality camera phone

i had the temerity to show up for a gig last night, at the soultree in cambridge. this venue is a new one for me, and first impressions swayed wildly from appreciating the intimacy and lack of stage, to being a bit bewildered by the inability to see any band member unless you were 7 foot tall or stood directly in front of their face for the entire gig. as i arrived, the pony collaboration were in full ‘swing’, featuring noted cambridge band whore, ian scanlon. they play downbeat miserable indie not a million miles from the likes of codeine, but perhaps a bit poppier. it sounded ok to my ears but i was not in the mood for this kind of slow swaying on a friday night. i treated myself to a disappointing bottle of beer and wandered around a bit in a vein attempt to find people i was supposed to be giving records too. for some reason this gig was running 8 til 10, so everyone turned up late.

second band on was shrag which was a bunch of boys and girls playing what sounded like an english indie pop band ripping off an american indie pop ripping off an english indie pop band. i found them crushingly mediocre, rather bland and lacking in choruses or excitement.

the pains of being pure at heart were the main draw and they had gathered a fair crowd in this cosy little venue. i managed to find a suitable spot a little too close to a speaker and proceeded to enjoy the next 30 minutes. they were a good live band but perhaps they have been touring a while because they seemed a tiny bit jaded and content to just reproduce the lp note for note, it wasn’t too much different to sitting at home with the lp on, and with 150 people in your living room, some of them gurning and dancing a bit. pains did a good job but with little chat to the crowd and not a huge amount of charisma, but then again what should i expect from an indie pop band? the highlights were the same highlights from the record, they played half an hour and that was about right, then they came back and played two more, which wasn’t really necessary in my opinion. afterwards some people asked them for autographs. i raised my eyebrow and slunk off into the… WHAT THE FUCK IT WAS ALMOST LIGHT OUTSIDE…